Assessments of Peake’s life and work in periodicals
includes articles printed in the Mervyn Peake Review from issue 1 (1975,
when it was called the Mervyn Peake Society Newsletter) to issue 20 (1986). The contents of the MPR are also listed by issue on this site. Subsequent
issues did not contain critical studies; instead, the MPSoc published two volumes
of articles, Peake Papers I and II (see Part F,
items 8 and 9).
Articles printed in Peake Studies are not included here; they will be found under contents of back issues.
More recently, important web-based articles have also
Two photographs: ‘Sending in day’ and ‘First arrivals at the
Royal Academy’. Sphere, vol.cxxv, no.1628, 4 April 1931, p.3.
Photographs of MP in London with his paintings; they are reproduced in Writings and Drawings (A19), pp.16 and 19.
Stephen Spender, Poetry in 1941. Horizon, vol.5, no.26, February 1942,
Mentions MP (‘technically weak, but there is a genuine feeling for life’) on pages pp.99, 100 & 102.
Bill Brandt, What our artists look like [photograph of MP]. Lilliput,
vol.12, no.3, issue no.69, March 1943, p..
Affirms that he has ‘completed the first quarter of a four-volume novel.’ Accompanied by a tiny sketch (Part D).
Alan Reeve, Artist-poet leads a robust trend in British art. Illustrated,
vol.vi, no.51, 10 February 1945, p.25. No.15 of a series entitled ‘Men of
Journalistic portrait of MP in his mid-30s. With a caricature of MP (also by Alan Reeve).
Quentin Crisp, The genius of MP. Facet, vol.1, no.1, 1946, pp.8–13.
Perceptive and sympathetic; reprinted in MPR 14:37–42.
[John] Brodie, First impressions of literary people: MP and the fantasies of an
extremely lively imagination. Books of Today, n.s. vol.1, no.1, January
Concentrates on the grotesque and fantastic aspects of the man and his work; ‘he writes poetry as well.’ With a small photograph of MP.
Charles Rosner, English book jackets. Graphis, vol.2, no.14, March–April
Reproduces the cover of Shapes & Sounds (A2).
Noel Carrington, English illustrated books for young children. Graphis,
vol.2, no.14, March–April 1946, pp.220–22.
Reproduces 8 pages from Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor (A1b).
Frances Sarzano, The book illustrations of MP. Alphabet & Image, vol.1,
Spring 1946, pp.19–37.
See Part D. Judges MP’s work by the highest standards, and finds it unequal. Reprinted in MPR 17:4–8. Also appeared in French, German and Italian translations in Echo international, 1946.
Denvir, MP. Studio, vol.132, no.642, September 1946, pp.88–90.
‘One of the outstanding artistic figures of our day.’
Reprinted in MPR 15:36–38. See also Part D.
A. L. Lloyd, An artist makes a living. Picture Post, vol.33, no.12, 21
December 1946, pp.22–24.
Interview, with seven photographs by Raymond Kleboe of MP and MG at work and three illustrations (from The Hunting of the Snark and Household Tales).
David H. Keller, Titus Groan: an appreciation. Operation Fantast, n.s.
vol.1, no.4, March 1950, pp.3–6.
Review-article of TG, reprinted in Paradox (ed. Bruce Robbins), 1968, no.6, then in Crucified Toad (ed. David Britton), 1974, no.4, [5pp].
Royal Society of Literature, General Anniversary Meeting, 26 June 1951: President’s
address. Reports for 1949–50 and 1950–51, 1952, pp.35–39.
The Heinemann Prize speech by R. A. Butler, later Lord Butler, who affirms that he has read MP’s books, and been enthralled by them. Watney (F3), p.162, claims that he said that he had not read them.
E. L. Beckingsale, [Letter to the Editor]. Books. The Journal of the National
Book League. no.283, January–February 1954, p.37.
Feedback on the December 1953 issue from Laura Beckingsale, who knew MP as a small child; she finds that Mr Pye ‘illustrates many of Mr. Toynbee’s points’ and recommends the book.
?Anon, Is there a title? Books. The Journal of the National Book League.
no.290, December, 1954, p.289.
‘In few children’s books have [flat tints] been used more skilfully than in MP’s Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor . . . now remaindered at 2s. 6d.’
Ervine Metzl, Ghosts and things by MP. American Artist, February 1955,
First American assessment of MP’s graphic work, underlining his ‘creativeness, versatility and power.’ Reproduces 14 drawings.
R[ooum], Exhibition: drawings by MP. Freedom, vol.19, no.50, 13 December
Eloquent review of Waddington Galleries exhibition (Part E).
Edwin Morgan, [Letter to the Editor]. London Magazine, vol.6, no.1, January
Surprised that MP was omitted from ‘New Novelists’ survey in previous issue, he trusts there are others besides himself ‘who prefer the richness and humanity of Mr Peake ... to the tight-knit terrors of ... Mr Golding?’
G. A. J. Farmer, MP, book illustrator, and a checklist of his works. Australian
Library Journal, July 1959, pp.134–37.
A brief presentation of MP followed by the first attempt at a Peake bibliography: 62 items.
Michael Moorcock, Architect of the extraordinary: the work of MP. Vector,
no.8, June 1960, pp.16–19.
Readers’ reactions to this article were printed in Vector no.9, September 1960, pp.38–44.
Edwin Morgan, The walls of Gormenghast: an introduction to the novels of MP. Chicago
Review, vol.xiv, no.3, Autumn/Winter 1960, pp.74–81.
First ‘academic’ assessment of the Titus books which ‘comment upon society, upon the relation of the individual to traditional forms. . . . they are by no means ‘Gothick’ in their total effect.’
Maeve Peake, Profile of MP. Folio, January–March 1961, pp.8–11.
One photograph and two drawings. First reproduction of the painting later used on the front of A2b.
Michael Moorcock, MP: an appreciation. Science Fantasy, vol.20, no.60,
Michael Moorcock, Aspects of fantasy; part 4: conclusion. Science Fantasy,
vol.22, no.64, 1964, pp.116–24.
Brief mentions of MP, contrasting him with Tolkien.
Michael Wood, Gormenghast. Cambridge Review, vol.85, no.2077, 23 May 1964,
pp.440 & 443.
‘A landscape of the mind . . . a world which, like Kafka’s, can really be discussed only in its own terms – the reverse of an allegory. . . . But it touches our [world] at many points.’
Henry Tube [i.e. John Spurling], MP. Spectator, 15 July 1966, p.81.
An overall assessment; ‘he is at his weakest when he approves too completely of his subject.’ ‘What we need, what we must have, is a full-scale exhibition of Peake’s work.’
Langdon Jones, A reverie of bone. New Worlds, vol.51, no.176, October 1967,
‘The future will prize the works of MP, and he will regain a popularity that will then be lasting’ for ‘here are some of the richest, most controlled novels of the language, a treasure-house of experience.’ Reproduces 4 drawings.
Pooter, [untitled]. The Times, 20 January 1968, p.21.
Comments on the MS of A World Away (F1) which is of a difficult length for publication.
Spurling, Mighty Groan. Financial Times, 15 February 1968.
Review of TG.
Anon, Londoner’s Diary. [London] Evening Standard, 18 November 68
A 150-word obituary. ‘A master of high Gothic fantasy. A man of great gentleness and sensitivity...’
Anon, Author Dies. [London] Evening News, 18 November 1968.
A 7-line obituary.
Anon, Mr MP. Guardian, 19 November 1968.
Obituary: ‘a curious but powerful writer in a nightmare style . . . and the inventor of a series of fantastic figures which have been aptly called “not wholly human”.’
Painter dies, ‘was ahead of his time’. Morning Star, 19th November
Obituary concentrating on the ‘Bohemian’ side of Peake who wore ‘a bright blue shirt, copper tweeds and orange velvet tie . . . at a formal showing of his works.’
Anon, MP, 57, a British writer: Author of ‘Gormenghast’ trilogy and
painter dies. New York Times, 19 November 1968, p.40.
A 350-word obituary.
Mr MP: author and painter. Scotsman, 19 November 1968.
A 13-line obituary.
[Maurice Collis], MP: Artist and writer with a gift for the grotesque. The
Times, 19 November 1968, p.13.
Obituary by one of Peake’s most faithful admirers and supporters.
David Holloway, MP, author and artist. Daily Telegraph, 19 November 1968.
A 450-word obituary; balanced and sensitive.
John Spurling, Behind the wardrobe. Financial Times, 20 November 1968.
A 650-word obituary; ‘belongs to that select band of oddities who cannot conveniently be fitted into the central tradition of English writing, but who constitute a kind of second line of attack, perhaps even a commando force...’
W. M. Thompson, Spectator’s notebook. Spectator, vol.221, no.7326,
22 November 1968, p.727.
Obituary: ‘only a talent of singular power could have created so complete a world of the imagination during those dismal years when ‘reality’ shoved everything aside.’
Edwin Mullins, Homage to Peake. Sunday Telegraph, 24 November 1968, p.5.
A 300-word obituary by a man who had known MP for the last 10 years. ‘The best English illustrator this century.’
M[arcus] S. Crouch, MP 1911–1968: an appreciation. Junior Bookshelf,
vol.32, no.6, December 1968, pp.346–49.
‘A future critic – for I cannot believe that he will be forgotten – will, I think, note not only the Gothic imagination but also the fun, the uncloying tenderness and the wisdom of a great artist.’
Anon., Antiquarian Bookman, 9 December 1968, p.2032.
3-line obituary, reprinted in the issues for 23 & 30 December 1968, p.2256.
Rodney Ackland, Thit and thefuther. Spectator, 20 December 1968, p.879.
Review of Gormenghast (A9d).
Tim Kirk, Gormenghast: a portfolio. Trumpet [Kansas City, Mo], no.10, 1969,
Five pages of drawings by Tim Kirk, showing a general view of Gormenghast (‘title-page’), ‘The Tree Room’, ‘A Few [i.e. five] of the Professors of Gormenghast’, ‘Flay and Titus’ and ‘Lord Sepulchrave’.
Oswell Blakeston, Peake’s hollow castle. Books & Bookmen, February
A review of Gormenghast (A9d). ‘I can’t see any real reason for critics to inflate this whole castle which is already too big for its boots.’ Discussed by Gavin O’Keefe in PS 8:iv, 19–28.
Michael Moorcock, MP. New Worlds, no.187, February 1969, pp.57 & 58.
Obituary with 3 photographs of MP and family.
M. John Harrison, et alia, ‘Groan’ – a letter to the Editor
of Books & Bookmen, April 1969, p.47 & 65.
M. John Harrison, Langdon Jones, Michael Moorcock, Bob Marsden, R. G. Jones, Diane Boardman, Pauline Hensby, and Marek Obtulowicz object to Oswell Blakeston’s article (February 1969) and he responds.
Anon, Books Abroad, Spring 1969, p.213.
Obituary notice, giving date of death as 23 November.
Leslie Sklaroff, MP – a checklist. Collector’s Bulletin (Newport
News, Newport, Va: National Fantasy Fan Federation), no.10, April 1969, pp.17–19.
The second attempt at a Peake bibliography; 161 items.
Anon, ‘Lead-in’. New Worlds, no.194, September/October 1969, p.1.
Langdon Jones, Titus Alone – a new edition. New Worlds, no.194,
September/October 1969, pp.20 & 21.
A more complete Introduction than was printed in TA (A9d).
Anthony Burgess, The price of Gormenghast. Spectator, 20 June 1970, pp.819 & 820.
Alan Forrest, Another groan. Books & Bookmen, vol.16, no.2, issue 192,
September 1971, p.45.
Reports on growing interest in MP – ‘a Gormenghast Society, specially formed to study his work’ [not identified; not the Mervyn Peake Society, which was formed in 1975] – ‘a pop group called Titus Groan’ – and MG was writing the fourth Titus book [now published].
Anon, In memory of a great man. Nova, January 1972, p.11.
Photograph of MG by Adrian Scott.
Maurice Collis, MP. Arts Review, vol.24, no.1, January 1972, p.11 (with
Photograph of Beatrice Greek, MG, and Maurice Collis on p.7.
Alex Hamilton, Mervyn alone. Guardian, 5 January 1972,
Review-article about the 1972 NBL exhibition (Part E).
Terence Mullaly, The message of MP. Daily Telegraph, 15 January 1972, p.10. Review-article about the 1972 NBL exhibition (Part E).
[A special correspondent], MP at the NBL. TLS, 11 February 1972, p.154.
See Part E.
Svensson, MP. TLS, no.3655, 17 March 1972, p.308.
Letter to the Editor about the illustrations for Alice.
Maeve Gilmore, Perfectly absurd. Observer, 12 November 1972, pp.37–39.
The Introduction to A Book of Nonsense (A17).
Joy Rome, 20th-century gothic: MP’s Gormenghast trilogy. Unisa English
Studies, vol.xi, no.1, March 1973, pp.42–54.
Undistinguished and sometimes absurdly wrong-headed except for the occasional phrase.
Hugh Brogan, The Gutters of Gormenghast. Cambridge Review, vol.95, no.2217,
23 November 1973, pp.38–42.
One of the best general surveys of MP’s work. Reprinted in MPR 18:8–17, in Twentieth-Century British Literature, vol.4 (Part G, 1987), and in the critical edition of Titus Alone (A12l), pp.234–45.
Herman Servotte, A miracle of rare device. Revue des langues vivantes,
vol.xl, 1974, pp.489–96.
A revised version of his ‘Gids voor Gormenghast’ which had appeared in Dietsche Warande & Belfort, 116, 5, 339–49.
J. G. E., April bookshelf (a monthly appreciation of books both in and out of print). Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times, 4 April 1975.
J. B. Gadsdon, The master of menace. Sydney Morning Herald, 19 April 1975, p.13.
Gilmore, A Word of Welcome. Mervyn Peake Society Newsletter (subsequently
MPR), Autumn 1975, no.1, pp.1.
On the founding of the Mervyn Peake Society, of which MG was honorary president; she believed that MP ‘would be very happy to know that the world he sought to create in his work [is] celebrated by a society that bears his name.’
Mitchell, The Book illustrations of MP. Mervyn Peake Society Newsletter
(subsequently MPR), Spring 1976, no.2, pp.5–10.
A much-revised version of an article first published in Illustration 63 (no.3, 1975). Underlines the variety of techniques that MP employed, and the emotional impact he achieved.
G. Peter Winnington, The Critics’ reception of Titus Groan in French: an annotated checklist for 1974. Mervyn Peake Society Newsletter (subsequently MPR), Autumn 1975, no.1, pp.11–12.
Philip Guerrard, Strategic fantasies: the gargoyle cult of MP. City of San Francisco, 17 February 1976, pp.28–31.
Duncan Fallowell, Crackpot and after. Books & Bookmen, April 1976,
Laudatory – and wildly inaccurate. All the relevant material (i.e. p.30) is reprinted in Twentieth-Century British Literature, vol.4 (Part G).
Roussetty, MP, an artist of life. Mervyn Peake Society Newsletter (subsequently
MPR), Spring 1976, no.2, pp.11–16.
Underlines MP’s ‘thirst for life’ and dynamic art, in his use of space, light and shade, colour symbolism pattern, and focalization on comic detail. Trans. from the French by GPW.
Sibley, Peaks and chasms, with a bibliographical note by Selwyn H. Goodacre. Mervyn
Peake Society Newsletter (subsequently MPR), Spring 1976, no.2, pp.17–24.
On MP’s illustrations for The Hunting of the Snark, followed by a checklist of impressions of the book.
Peter Winnington as] Academicus, The Misfortunes of Captain Slaughterboard. Mervyn
Peake Society Newsletter (subsequently MPR), Spring 1976, no.2, pp.25–27.
Denounces the modifications made to both text and drawings in the American edition of Captain Slaughterboard (A1c).
Herman Servotte, Guide for Gormenghast: MP’s trilogy. MPR, Autumn 1976, no.3, pp.5–9.
Gardaz, ‘The Reveries’ in Titus Groan. MPR, Autumn 1976,
Analyses the ‘reveries’ in TG, which prove to be carefully structured, in contrast with ‘the word-spinning of the reveries themselves’. Trans. from the French by GPW.
Rafanelli, Titus and the Thing in Gormenghast. MPR, Autumn 1976,
A close analysis of chapter 68 of Gormenghast, ‘the core of the book – perhaps even of the whole trilogy’ – maintaining that the Thing is ‘half way between the fabulous and the real’. Reprinted in the critical edition of Titus Alone (A12l),. pp.292–98.
Peter Winnington as] Academicus, A Benighted editor of Peake. MPR, Autumn
1976, no.3, pp.29–31.
Denounces the numerous deviations in the Allison & Busby (Part C, prose) edition of ‘Boy in Darkness’ from the text of first edition in Sometime Never.
Edmund Little, Gogol’s town of NN. and Peake’s Gormenghast: the realism of fantasy. Journal of Russian studies, no.34, 1977, pp.13–18.
E[ric] S. D[rake], In Memory: M.L.P. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, p.2.
Eric Drake, Lost Archives. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.3–12.
John Watney, Planning and writing a biography of MP. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.13–16.
Maeve Gilmore, [untitled reminiscence]. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.17–18.
Dr Gordon Smith, [untitled reminiscence]. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.18–21.
Peter McKenzie, [untitled reminiscence]. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.21–23.
Karafiat, [untitled commentary]. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.24.
On the ritual of Gormenghast.
Colin Greenland, The Smashing of the central vase. MPR, Spring 1977, no.4, pp.27–29.
David Sutton, Folkloristic elements in the Titus trilogy. MPR, Autumn 1977, no.5, pp.6–11.
Desmond Mason, Titus Groan: errors and flaws. MPR, Autumn 1977, no.5, pp.12–16.
Peter Winnington, Fuchsia and Steerpike: mood and form. MPR, Autumn 1977,
Reprinted in the critical edition of Titus Alone (A12l), pp.299–305.
Backhouse, Yours faithfully. MPR, Autumn 1977, no.5, pp.24–25. [
On the problems of printing Letters from a Lost Uncle.
T. E. Little, MP and Nicolai Gogol. Essays in Poetics, vol.3, 1978, pp.87–103.
C. Schlobin, An annotated bibliography of fantasy fiction. CEA critic,
vol.40, 1978, pp.37–42.
Brief entry on TG on p.41.
Peter McKenzie, MP: sketch for an overview. MPR, Spring 1978, no.6, pp.4–9.
Hunt, Psychology of the Bildungsroman. MPR, Spring 1978, no.6, pp.10–17.
Reprinted in the critical edition of Titus Alone (A12l), pp.306–14.
Brian Sibley, Through a darkling glass: an appreciation of MP’s illustrations to Alice. MPR, Spring 1978, no.6, pp.25–28.
Tom Pocock, Dreams and nightmares. The Times, 5 August 1978, p.5.
Reproduces the caricature of Hitler from Leader, May 1945 (Part D).
E. L. Peake, My Brother Mervyn. MPR, Autumn 1978, no.7, pp.6–9.
Ingrid Waterhouse, Mr Peake, Mr Pye, and the paradox of good and evil. MPR, Autumn 1978, no.7, pp.10–17.
Laurence Bristow-Smith, Mr Pye, or the evangelist and the dead whale. MPR, Autumn 1978, no.7, pp.19–24.
Brian Sibley, Pictures and conversations: more about the Alice illustrations. MPR, Autumn 1978, no.7, pp.26–29.
Denis Crutch, Editions of Alice illustrated by Peake: a bibliographical note. MPR, Autumn 1978, no.7, p.30.
Oakes, Peake’s progress. Sunday Times, 12 November 1978, p.37.
Has the picture of Keda perched on the rock, silhouetted against a massive sun (listed in Part D). First publication, that I know of, of this drawing.
Ronald Binns, Situating Gormenghast. Critical Quarterly, vol.21, no.1,
Reprinted in Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.246–59.
G. Peter Winnington, Inside the mind of MP. Etudes de lettres [University
of Lausanne], series iv, vol.2, no.1, January–March 1979, pp.99–106.
On the ‘spatialization of Peake’s mind’ in his novels and poetry; the part on the novels is reprinted in Twentieth-Century British Literature, vol.4 (Part G).
Michael Moorcock, Peake: talent into genius. Books & Bookmen, April
A review of Peake’s Progress; reprinted in MPR 9:28–31, and in Magical Blend, 1980, 1:37–38.
Moore, MP’s Writings and Drawings. The Oxford Art Journal, no. 2,
April 1979. pp.49–51.
A balanced and sympathetic introduction to MP’s life and work, with emphasis on everything but the fiction, for once. 1775 words (not including the quotations).
Jacques Favier, Distortions of space and time in the Titus trilogy. MPR, Spring 1979, no.8, pp.7–14.
G. Peter Winnington, Tracking down the Umzimvubu Kaffirs. MPR, Spring 1979, no.8, pp.25–26.
J. S. Parsons, Opening speech. MPR, Spring 1979, no.8, pp.32–33.
Speech by Bodley’s Deputy Librarian (later Librarian) to open the Bodleian exhibition (Part E), on which occasion Parsons produced the portrait that MP had drawn of him (reproduced in this issue) when they were in the Army together.
Lee Speth, Cavalier treatment: a Connecticut Yankee in Gormenghast. Mythlore,
vol.6, no.2, issue no.20, Spring 1979, pp.46–47.
Observes similarities between the words of the Poet in Gormenghast and a 1937 New England poem by Mabel Ingalls Wescott. ‘If Peake did not know Mrs Wescott’s poem, how sure can anyone be about any derivation?’
Michael Moorcock, Wit and humour in fantasy. Foundation, no.15, 1979, pp.16–22.
Reprinted in Beyer & Zahorski, Fantasists on Fantasy, New York: Avon, 1984, pp.265–76, and in Moorcock’s Wizardry and Wild Romance: a study of epic fantasy, Gollancz, 1987, pp.105–119.
Brian Sibley, MP’s illustrations for ‘Alice’. Jabberwocky
[the Journal of the Lewis Carroll Society], vol.8, no.3, Summer 1979, pp.70–73.
An updated re-write of ‘Pictures and Conversations’ which appeared in MPR 7:26–29.
Drake, The Rented Room, followed by a discussion between Maeve Gilmore and Eric
Drake. MPR, Autumn 1979, no.9, pp.4–10.
Includes a photograph of the house where MP had a rented room in Battersea, in 1936.
David Sutton, The Religion of Gormenghast. MPR, Autumn 1979, no.9, pp.11–13.
Kay Fuller, Mervyn at the microphone. MPR, Autumn 1979, no.9, pp.24–27.
Gardner, MP at the Westminster Art School, 1936–39. MPR, Spring 1980,
Reminiscences by an ex-student.
André Dhôtel, Preface to the French translation of Titus Alone, trans. by Peter Stap. MPR, Spring 1980, no.10, pp.26–29.
Gilmore, Introduction to ‘The Voice of a Pencil’ exhibition catalogue.
MPR, Spring 1980, no.10, pp.31–33.
Contains some corrections to the version printed in the catalogue.
Edmund Little, Towards a definition of fantasy. Essays in Poetics, vol.5, 1980, pp.66–83.
Maeve Gilmore, I sometimes think about old tombs & weeds. The Green Book, vol.1, no.3, Summer 1980, pp.10–11.
Paul Wright, The gutters of Gormenghast – the voice of a generation. Astrological
Journal, Summer 1980, pp.158–64, & 176.
An analysis of MP’s life and work, based on his astrological signs. Reprinted in Wright’s book, The Literary Zodiac, London: Anodyne Publishing and Sebastopol, Ca: CRCS Publications, 1987.
Murray, The Crested Wave. MPR, Autumn 1980, no.11, pp.7–8.
Includes a photograph of Andrew Murray, as a child, with MP.
Peter Winnington, ‘A Letter from China’ Discovered. MPR, Autumn
1980, no.11, pp.3–7.
First reprinting of MP’s 1922 letter in News from Afar (see Part D, both prose and drawings) along with accompanying sketch.
Peter McKenzie, Manlove on Fantasy: Theories and their Consequences. MPR, Autumn 1980, no.11, pp.17–25.
R. J. Godfrey, Peake and Donaldson: a comparative study of their fantasies. MPR, Autumn 1980, no.11, pp.26–34.
C. N. Manlove, A world in fragments: Peake and the Titus books. MPR, Autumn 1980, no.11, pp.9–16.
E. A. Blignaut, MP: from artist as entertainer to artist as philosopher and moralist in the Titus books. English Studies in Africa, vol.24, no.2, 1981, pp.107–15.
Greenland, From Beowulf to Kafka: MP’s Titus Alone. Foundation,
No.21, 1981, pp.48–53.
On the unpalatable implications of TA. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century British Literature, vol.4 (Part G, 1987) and in the critical edition of Titus Alone (A12l), pp.332–38. A very slightly different version of this article appeared in MPR 12:4–9.
Bryn Gunnell, The fantasy of MP. Malahat review, no.58, Spring 1981, pp.17–35.
After attempting to define fantasy, discusses the Titus books with reference to folktale, fairytale, fable, science fiction, surrealism, and the gothic.
Bristow-Smith, A Critical Conclusion: the end of Titus Alone. MPR,
Spring 1981, no.12, pp.10–13.
Reprinted in Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.339–43.
Manlove, McKenzie on Manlove on Peake. MPR, Spring 1981, no.12, pp.35–36.
With a final reaction from P. McKenzie on p.37.
Wood, MP: a pupil remembers. MPR, Spring 1981, no.12, pp.15–28.
G. Peter Winnington, The MP Manuscripts at University College London. MPR, Spring 1981, no.12, pp.29–30.
Ursula Le Guin, [a review of Peake’s Progress], [Washington Post]
Book World, September 27, 1981, p.11.
A laudatory little essay, reprinted in her book, Dancing at the Edge of the world: Thoughts on words, women, places. New York: Grove Press, and London: Gollancz, 1989, pp.273–75.
G. Peter Winnington, Editing Peake. MPR, Autumn 1981, no.13, pp.2–7.
Berkeley & G. Peter Winnington, Peake in Print: part A. MPR, Autumn
1981 no.13, pp.8–35.
Now on the web, updated.
Ronald Binns, The Meaning of Boy in Darkness. MPR, Spring 1982, no.14, pp.3–10.
Berkeley & G. Peter Winnington, Peake in print: part B. MPR, Spring
1982 no.14, pp.15–35.
Now on the web, updated.
Pauline Turner, Peake in the Saleroom. MPR, Spring 1982, no.14, pp.43–44.
W. J. Thorne, The Visitors’ Book. MPR, Spring 1982, no.14, pp.11–14.
Roger Fowler, How to see through language: perspective in fiction. Poetics,
vol.11, No.3, July 1982, pp.213–35.
See pages 226–33, where TG is used as an example for analysis.
Ochocki, Gormenghast: fairytale gone wrong? MPR, Autumn 1982, no.15, pp.11–17.
Reprinted in Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.315–21.
Rosa González, Peake among the masters of chiaroscuro. MPR, Autumn 1982, no.15, pp.4–10.
N. Leech & Michael H. Short, Style in Fiction. MPR, Autumn 1982,
Reprinted from the authors’ book (Part G).
Anita Moss, ‘Felicitous space’ in the fantasies of George MacDonald
and MP. Mythlore, no.30, Winter 1982, pp.16, 17, & 42.
Applies the concepts developed by Gaston Bachelard in his Poetics of Space and gently takes issue with Manlove’s reading of the end of TA.
L. Bristow-Smith, Gormenghast in Morocco. MPR, Spring 1983, no.16, pp.17–19.
Peter McKenzie, Pictorial and Descriptional. MPR, Spring 1983, no.16, pp.3–10.
G. Peter Winnington, Sotheby Peakes. MPR, Spring 1983, no.16, pp.38–41.
Georges Lemaire, From the invisible painting to the mute poem: the problematic
relationship between words and images in the work of famous writers and painters.
Flash Art, no.114, 1983, pp.44–48.
Only p.47 is relevant.
Maeve Peake, Memories of Bohemian Chelsea. Chelsea Society Report, 1983.
pp.41–45, with a previously unpublished photograph of MP on p.40.
Life in the various studios that the Peakes rented in Chelsea in the 1940s, and the people they encountered. Noticed in [Evening] Standard, 18 January 1984. Reprinted without the photograph in MPR 19:3–10.
Anon [possibly J K Adair; see below], Of Gothic blackness and whimsy. 24 Hours
[the monthly programme of Australian ABC Radio], Vol.8, No.10, November 1983,
Introduces David Chandler’s 1983 radio adaptation of ‘the Gormenghast Trilogy’ (Part E). Biographical, based on A World Away.
Eric Drake, Last Words. MPR, Autumn 1983, no.17, pp.12–13.
Diana Gardner, Maeve Peake: a portrait. MPR, Autumn 1983, no.17, pp.9–11.
Berkeley & G. Peter Winnington, Peake in print: part E. MPR, Autumn
1983 no.17, pp.14–28.
Now on the web, updated.
Keith Hewlett, Mister Peake. Book People (Berne, Switzerland), no.2, 1984, pp.6–7.
Berkeley & G. Peter Winnington, Peake in print: part F. MPR, Spring
1984 no.18, pp.18–20.
Now on the web, updated.
Peter Winnington, Peake’s Parents’ Years in China. MPR, Spring
1984, no.18, pp.21–30.
Reprinted, much revised, as the first chapter of Vast Alchemies (F11).
Gordon Smith, Ghastly genius. Observer [colour supplement], 15 July 1984,
Reproduces 4 drawings, anticipating publication in Smith’s book (F5) by almost a month.
Michael Cable, Police man’s Peake. Radio Times, vol.245, no.3187,
8–14 December 1984, pp.4, 5 & 8.
On the BBC radio adaptation of the Titus books (Part E).
David Shayer, The Sark Novels of MP. Journal of the Société Guerneséiaise,
The first half is a perceptive study of Mr Pye, developed in PS vol.4, no.4, 1996, pp.21–26; the second initiates the study of maritime and island images developed in ‘The Great Stone Island’ (PS vol.4, no.3, 1995, pp.29–36).
Robert Macdonald, Central’s line to calamity. Guardian, 15 January
On MP’s teaching at the Central School. Reproduces a sketch by MP not seen elsewhere.
P[hilip] J. Best, Gunner Peake. London Magazine, vol.25, nos 1 & 2,
April/May 1985, pp.129–32.
A highly-coloured reminiscence of MP’s early months in the Army during the war. Reprinted in London Magazine 1961–1985, edited by Alan Ross, Chatto & Windus, (Sept.) 1986, pp.279–81. (See also item for 22 March 1986.)
Berkeley & G. Peter Winnington, Peake in print: parts G and H.
Printed as a supplement to MPR, Summer 1985, no.19, pp.i–xvi. Now on the web, updated.
Sibley, The sketching of the Snark. MPR, Summer 1985, no.19, pp.27–32.
Reproduces five pages of previously unpublished drawings.
Edwin Mullins, How many miles to Babylon? Some recollections of MP. MPR, Summer 1985, no.19, pp.33–38.
Brian Sibley, Peake listening: some confessions of a radio dramatist. MPR, Summer 1985, no.19, pp.39–45.
Ian Miller, A paper cosmos: an illustrator’s perspective on Gormenghast. MPR, Summer 1985, no.19, pp.47–50.
John Watney, Belle au bois dormant: a recollection of No.1 Drayton Gardens. MPR, Summer 1985, no.19, pp.51–.
Sarah Howell, On the wings of a dilemma. Observer [colour supplement],
2 March 1986, pp.22–23 & 25–26.
On the filming of Mr Pye on Sark (see Part E).
[J.] Best, Gunner Peake on Parade. Spectator, 22 March 1986, pp.34–35.
A slightly different version of the article first published in London Magazine (above).
Colin Manlove, The elusiveness of fantasy. Fantasy Review (Florida Atlantic
University), vol.9, no.4, issue no.90, April 1986, pp.13, 14 & 49.
An abridged version of Manlove’s speech to the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts; contains brief mentions of MP as Manlove attempts to define fantasy.
J. K. Adair, The talent and torment of MP. 24 Hours [the monthly
programme of Australian ABC Radio], Vol.11, no.5, June 1986, pp.12–13.
A biographical introduction to MP, introducing the repeat of the ABC adaptation of ‘the Gormenghast trilogy’ (Part E). Repeats errors contained in similar item above, November 1983; so Adair possibly wrote the earlier article too.
Gardiner-Scott, War images and influences in MP’s Titus Alone. MPR,
Summer 1986, no.20, pp.38–48.
First published in a French translation in Les Cahiers de l’Imaginaire, December 1985, no.19/20, pp.21–35.
Sebastian Peake, Two poems [‘Bergen-Belsen KZ’ and ‘Burpham Sussex: On a headstone that said it all’]. MPR, Summer 1986, no.20, pp.50–51.
Louise Collis, Memories of MP. Art & Artists, August 1986, pp.10–13.
Reprinted, slightly shortened, in Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.227–29.
E. L. ‘Lonnie’ Peake, Young Mervyn. MPR, no.20, 1986, pp.3–8.
‘Based on an interview that Lonnie Peake gave to John Watney in the summer of 1974,’ this article forms the skeleton of the piece by Peake’s brother that appeared in MPR 7: 6–9.
Sebastian Peake, Two Peake houses: Wepham and Wallington. MPR, no.20, 1986,
MP’s son remembers his grandfather’s house at Wepham, later occupied by Lonnie and his family, and his father’s house at Wallington, where he lived from 1952 to 1960.
John Watney, Sporting Peake. MPR, no.20, 1986, pp.12–15.
Comments on MP’s early practice of various sports and later interest in them.
Kaye Webb, Peake remembered. MPR, no.20, 1986, pp.16–17.
Glimpses of MP in the 1940s.
Iain Beaton, Foreign illustrations for the ‘Titus’ books : an introduction.
MPR, no.20, 1986, pp.22–37.
Discusses the illustrations by Heinz Edelmann for the German translation of the ‘Titus’ books and by Lucjas Mroz for the Polish translation of Titus Groan, and reproduces six of them.
Josette Leray, Nature et fonctions de l’irréel et de ses décors dans la trilogie de MP. La Licorne (Poitiers, France) 1986, 10: 31–43.
Tom Pocock, MP: Journey of dark discovery. Spectator, vol.258, No.8275,
14 February 1987, pp.44–45.
On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition at the Festival Hall (Part E), Pocock reverts to his visit to Germany with Peake in 1945.
Tanya Gardiner-Scott, Belsen recast: an exploration of holocaust themes and images
in MP’s Titus Alone. Holocaust Studies Annual, vol.III, 1987, pp.94–105.
Covers much the same ground as her previous article on ‘War images’ (1986). Illustrated with the five Belsen drawings published in Drawings (1949).
Tanya Gardiner-Scott, Memory emancipated: the fantastic realism of MP. Mythlore, issue 52, vol.14, no.2, Winter 1987, pp.26–29.
Roger Allen, The ‘fantastic’ world of MP. Book Collector, no.52,
July 1988. pp.38–45.
An introduction to MP’s life and works, particularly for the collector.
Tanya Gardiner-Scott, MP: the relativity of perception. Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, vol.1, no.2, 1988, pp.13–24.
Philip Redpath, MP’s Black House: an allegory of mind and body.
ARIEL [a review of international English lit], Calgary, Canada, Vol.20,
No.1, January 1989. pp.57–74.
Not seen but Tanya Gardiner-Scott tells me that she feels it owes rather a lot to her work, without acknowledging it.
Gardiner-Scott, Through the maze: textual problems in MP’s Titus Alone.
Extrapolation, vol.30, no. 1, 1989. pp.70–83.
Claims MP crafted TA more skilfully than published editions of the work would suggest, and offers samples of passages deleted by MP’s editors that would improve both our opinion and our reading of the text.
Greville Watts, A Poet in the Glasshouse. The Journal of the Glass Association,
Provides the industrial background to MPs commission to illustrate glassblowers at work. Also reprints MPs poem, ‘The Glassblowers’.
Gilbert, MP and memory. London Magazine, Vol.35, nos 9 & 10, December
1995–January 1996, pp.69–80.
An excellent article on the function of memory in MP’s work. Reprinted (slightly revised) in PS 5:iv (April 1998).
Marcus Crouch, Looking back: a partial view of MP. Junior Bookshelf, Vol.60,
no 1, February 1996, pp.3–6.
Laudatory, mainly on the illustrations for children’s books: ‘He belongs with Tenniel, Rackham, and Ardizzone.’
Bratman, The Versions of Titus Alone. New York Review of Science Fiction,
8 (9 (93)): 7, May 1996.
David Bratman, MP, the Gormenghast Diptych, and Titus Alone. New York Review of Science Fiction, 8 (9 (93)): 1, 4–6, May 1996.
James Mulvihil, William Blake and MP’s Titus Groan. Notes on Contemporary Literature, 29 (2), pp.2–3. March 1999.
Hilary Spurling, A subversive world of his own. The Sunday Telegraph. January 23, 2000.
Richard Dalby, MP: the author of ‘Gormenghast’ was also a prolific
artist/illustrator. Book Collector, No 191, February, 2000, pp. 86–103.
A survey of Peake’s life and works (which does not benefit from Vast Alchemies unfortunately), ending with a bibliography with suggested secondhand prices.
John Gray, Draughtman’s Contract. New Statesman, 14 February, 2000.
Ostensibly a review of Estelle Daniel’s book about the making of the BBC adaptation (F10), this is one of the most sensitive and sensible reviews of the Titus books to appear in the last twenty years.
Joelle Prungnaud, Argol et Gormenghast, ou la mise en écriture du château. Roman 20-50: Revue dEtude du Roman du XXe Siècle, 30, pp.141–52. December 2000.
Lysoe, Titus Groan, Malpertuis, Das Schloss: Le Château comme espace
sacré. Cahiers du Gerf, No 22, pp.49–68, Winter 2001–2002.
Sophie Aymès, ‘A thousand imaginary journeys’: trois rêveries par MP. Etudes anglaises, 56:1, pp.24–38, Jan–March 2003. (In
J. Sahlas, Dementia with Lewy Bodies and the Neurobehavioural Decline of MP. Archives
of Neurology, Vol.60, pp.889–892. June 2003.
The first serious attempt to diagnose MP’s medical condition since his death.
Dr Sahlas contributed another version of this article, revised for non-specialist readers, to PS vol.8 no.3 (October 2003).
M. Casotti, The Magic-Realist World of Gormenghast in Peakes Trilogy. Anglistica
Pisana, 1–2, pp.57–75, 2004.
Jamie A. Hughes, ‘I Have My Battleground No Less Than Nations’: Peakes Daydream of Gormenghast. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, Vol. 25, Nos 1–2), pp.24–31. March 2004.
E. H. Emery, Treatment in art: I waxes and I wanes, sir. Clinical
Medicine (London). Vol.4, No 3 (May–June) 2004.
Peter Winnington, MP’s Lonely World. Wormwood,
No 3, pp.1–21. Autumn 2004.
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi: ‘This intriguing view brings forth a new insight in the understanding of Peake’s body of work.’
Mantrant, MP’s Gormenghast Novels: a baroque hostility to straight lines.
Etudes Britanniques Contemporaines: Revue de la Société dEtudes
Anglaises Contemporaines, 28, pp.71–82, June 2005.
Palko, The Gothic Pedestrian: an analysis of the role of Steerpike in MP’s
Titus Groan and Gormenghast. A paper read at the Montreal meeting,
titled Deviance and Defiance, of the International Gothic Association, 2005.
Applies the concept of ‘Walking in the City’ developed by Michel De Certeau in The Practice of Everyday Life (1998). Not published.
Pendle, Edifice Complex. Frieze, May 2006, p.27.
Mainly on Gormenghast castle; with a rarely reproduced sketch of the Mud Huts at the foot of the castle walls from the MS of TG.
Rogerson, Possessed by Peake. Slightly Foxed [The Real Readers Quarterly,
London], No.12, pp.19–27, Winter 2006.
‘Titus Alone is one of the most pronounced examples of a failed sequence.’
Peake, The Call of Sark. Slightly Foxed [The Real Readers Quarterly,
London], No.12, pp.28–31, Winter 2006.
Autobiographical memoir, with one photograph and one illustration from Peakes (then still unpublished) Sunday Books.
E. B. Frohvet (pseud.), Gormenghast: a psychiatric overview. Banana
Wings, No.29, February 2007, pp.12–14.
Examines the mental health of the inhabitants of Gormenghast, diagnosing their respective conditions. Titus comes out as a normal adolescent.
June Hopper, MP’s Journey to Wonderland and What He Found There: an assessment of the artist’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice. New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp. 59–76, April 2007. Not seen
Explores the ways in which a C20th artist adds his own dynamic to stories written in the C19th. Refers to Peake’s personality, life experiences and interests as well as his fluctuating health, all of which undoubtedly influenced his artistic output. Comparisons are made between Peake’s and John Tenniel’s interpretations of the characters, both human and anthropomorphic. Concludes that the stories are open to many interpretations, and that Peake, in adding something of himself, provides the reader with fresh perspectives on them.
Francesca Bell, Giving the Worm no Hollow Food. Humanity [a journal issued by the University of Newcastle, Australia], 2008.
Analyses MP’s poem, ‘If I could see not surfaces’.
Adrian Tchaikovsky, Titus Groan: MP, 1946. SFX Magazine, May 2009, p.125.
‘Steerpike is one of the most elegantly crafted villains that literature has ever seen. . . . Peake’s novels are rare jewels in the fantasy canon, influential, often overlooked, never forgotten by those that have read them.’
Michael Marett-Crosby, Mr Pye’s Dilemma. Slightly Foxed [The Real Readers Quarterly,
London], No 22, pp.66–75, Summer 2009.
Analyses MP’s poem, ‘If I could see not surfaces’.
Grzegorz Buczyński, The Problem of (In)consistency in MP’s Gormenghast Trilogy. Anglica (published by Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego), No.17, pp.129–137, 2009.
Cathy Galvin, Gormenghast: a legend awakes. Sunday Times Magazine, 12 June 2011.
Boyd Tonkin, Oddity that Stands the Test of Time. The Independent, 24 June 2011.
Philip Womack, Ways with Words: interviews with MP’s Children. Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2011.
Michael Moorcock, China Miéville, Hilary Spurling, and AL Kennedy, A Celebration of the Writing and Art of MP. Guardian, 2 July 2011.
Matthew David Surridge, The Centenary of MP. Blackgate.com, 3 July 2011.
Eileen Battersby, The Mind behind Strange, Gothic Gormenghast. Irish Times, 8 July 2011.
Tim Connell, Through Lands Afar: MP at 100. TLS, 8 July 2011. With an elegy for MP by Rachel Hadas.
Fergus Fleming, Peake’s Progress. Literary Review, 9 July 2011.
Chris Bell, A world undesecrate: MP, 1911–1968. 17 July, 2011.
John Gray, New Statesman, 18 July 2011, a review of Titus Awakes that is mainly an assessment of Peake’s work.
‘The grotesque characters and ghastly scenes that fill the Gormenghast books do not emerge, half-formed and darkly menacing, from the depths of the unconscious mind. They are creations of wit; what’s more ... nothing is more characteristic of Peake’s genius than the perfect command he exercises over the world that he invented.’ On Titus Alone: ‘Today, Peake’s vision seems presciently accurate: the world in which Titus wanders, where wealth is ghostly and fear of poverty lurks on every corner, where the human detritus of war moulders in camps and life mutates daily under the impact of new technologies, is our own.’
Jonathan Jones, Gormenghast author MP: master of the dark arts. Guardian, 15 July 2011.
‘Peake was a true artist, not just an illustrator. His sketches are not simply strong images but suggestive, tantalising works of draughtsmanship. Ambiguity, suggestiveness, misty shadow – he brings these same qualities of great drawing to the way he writes.’
John Spurling, Titus At Large, Spectator, 13 August 2011 (a review of the Illustrated Gormenghast).
Michael Wood, Eaten by Owls, London Review of Books, 26 January 2012 (Vol 34 No 2), pp. 25–26 (a review of the BL edition of Peake’s Progress; The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy; Titus Awakes; Complete Nonsense. 3397 words)
‘A childhood in Gormenghast will render a person incapable of distinguishing freedom from anarchy.... The Gormenghast novels recognise no middle ground between being lost and being trapped, between regimentation and disorder, and speak therefore to all those moods where we can’t find that ground ourselves.’
Silvia Bellotti, «Gormenghast»: Il Castello. Il mondo di MP. Acme, (Sept.–Dec. 2012), Vol. LXV, no.3. [In Italian]
Rob Maslen, Mervyn Peake and Trees, on his blog called
The City of Lost Books, 6 November 2015.
Offers a revised date for the composition of ‘With People, so with Trees’.
Rob Maslen, The Erotics of Gormenghast,
on his blog called
The City of Lost Books, on 4 December 2015.
Argues that in Gormenghast, ‘Eroticism suffuses the air of the sprawling edifice like pollen in springtime.’
On the 13 Words That Made Me a Writer, on
the lithub weblog, 29 March 2016.
A prize-winning short-story-writer and novelist tells how reading the Titus books liberated the writer within her.
On an anonymous – and thoroughly opinionated – personal Wordpress site called oyster-soup-kitchen-floor-waxmuseum (or should I have hypenated that ‘floorwax-museum’?), there is a most interesting piece, Mervyn Peake’s ‘Mr Pye’ Review – Manifestation of Faith, dated 22 February, 2017.
There are also entries on MP and his main works in the online Literary Encyclopedia.
© G. Peter Winnington 2017
Please tell me of any corrections or additions I should make.
Continue with theses and dissertations on MP or